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Anchor Pile Design for Floating Offshore Wind Turbines

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Spicer, CA 
Abadie, CN 
Madabhushi, GSP 


As the world is working towards accelerating the global transition to clean power, the development of floating offshore wind turbine (FOWT) technologies is becoming increasingly important. The design of robust anchors that can sustain severe cyclic loads from the wind, waves and currents, for a large number of cycles, is central to the deployment of future floating wind farms. This paper presents experimental work to further understand and improve the design of driven anchor piles in sandy soils for Tension Leg Platforms (TLPs). It involves laboratory tests at 1g, scaled to represent a typical anchor pile, designed following original guidelines for floating offshore wind turbine anchors from the ABS (American Bureau of Shipping). The test programme involves selected axial load cases to investigate stable, meta-stable and unstable behaviour, and demonstrates that the factors of safety currently recommended by the ABS are insufficient, leading to premature failure of the anchor pile. However, the results show good agreement with published cyclic interaction diagrams, originally devised for the design of piles under cyclic axial loading. A set of empirical laws are derived from the experimental results to predict the number of cycles to failure and the change in pile ultimate pull-out capacity due to cyclic loading. This work suggests a revised direction for the design of anchor piles under cyclic loading.



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Proceedings of the International Conference on Natural Hazards and Infrastructure

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